Archive for March, 2010

zero waste home is a blog (and a lifestyle) by a crazy thoughtful woman in california who, along with her family, produces no garbage. whatsoever. hell yeah!

if, like me and many i know, you do not live on your own or do not have a lot of money, the idea of completely eliminating garbage from your life seems daunting. when i think of no waste i think first of food and the packaging it comes in, so alright, i’ll try to buy fresh produce and stuff like that that comes without wrappers. which is impossible unless you buy everything in bulk but even then you need to find something to hold the food in besides the plastic bags they have at the store etc etc. and then you get into the nitty gritty of it all and realize that pens, when they run out of ink, are trash. and so are drinks in plastic cups at parties and the cardboard that paperclips come in etc etc. and if you continue to read the blog you’ll find even more items that bea, the writer, makes sure will never ever enter her home.

so while she’s taken the idea of zero garbage to an extreme it’s still a worthwile read because, at the least, it will lead you to be a bit more mindful in your consumption habits. personally i have a bad habit of always putting produce in a plastic bag at the supermarket, even if i’m only getting like three apples or an orange whose peel i won’t be eating anyway. and if i am aware of every little decision like this (if we are all aware, i mean) then slowly but surely everything is a choice, and you can choose to buy the products you feel comfortable with and the ones which represent companies with the same no-garbage scruples as you.

and then slowly but surely we’ll stop buying from companies who waste energy on excessive shipping and then we’ll all support local food economies and eat cheese from the cows down the street etc etc.

and then lalala we’ll close our eyes one night and wake up the next morning and there’ll be flowers and butterflies and unicorns and no pollution anywhere.

LisaFrankPenguin.jpg image by kroquet


thank you, lisa frank.


[ stefanie ]

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“you’re just a regular imelda marcos,” they’d say, referring to my burgeoning love of footwear. i still remember my first pair of high heels, a fantastically ugly pair of pink mary janes with platforms that contained what looked like pastel pink marshmallows that i wore to my older sister’s bat mitzvah.

so uh some shoes i am currently considering are the ever-prevalent toms, a company that, for every pair of shoes you buy, donates a pair to a child in need.

these are the toms i want the most


the cheapest shoes are $44, cheap if you consider the fact that you’re really buying two pairs. the cordones pictured above are $69, and there are a couple styles even pricier. then again, the whole world is not as stingy as i, and nothing is too expensive if it’s for a good cause and barefoot children and stuff.


even more out of my recent-unemployed-graduate price range are these fabulous boots from irregular choice. i wholeheartedly encourage you to buy them for me, size 7.


Image Display


shop shop shop, friends, and then shop some more.


[ stefanie ]

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are fashion and food.. and this blog.  Meet Carol Han:

you looks fabulous

Via my workplace Twitter feed I’ve stumbled upon Ms. Han, fashion stylist, & her recently launched blog Milk & Mode.  It’s my new The Sartorialist.  …and by that I mean that it’s an addicting, minimalist blog rife with fash-photog.  There are other goodies as well, including a log of her social goings-on* (voyeurism!) and rando recipes.  The real pull here is her insider status: she posts the newest and the best.  Her editorial eye is spot on for young fresh things.  I am particularly hearting the following knits from her recent trip to Hudson Jeans fall preview:


When can I buy you?!

Another recommendation culled from her recent writings, this post on inspirational, funky NYC apartment interiors.  I like these two a lot:

that mirror is reminds me of the one in Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Wedding painting

this room is a study in textures: chair, lime green cushion, zeba rug, couch, etc.

A+ for your mish mosh framed print collage, A++ for your clothing storage pieces

From blogger to blogger, kudos to Milk & Mode for the fabulous (dare I say poetic?) titling of some her posts.

Finally, check out her awesome pup:

*Ms. Han seems to roll with Rick Owens-loving Andrew from Kell on Earth


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The internet and I have found each other again, and for this I am profoundly grateful.  My mock window to the world, much like PBS is for sheltered suburban children.  Today, I feel inspired to introduce you to, or remind you of, whichever it may be, a glorious, glorious band: Yeasayer.

My initial introduction was post-Lollapalooza 2008 via others.  Their performance was described to me as “brilliant,” “enlightening,” “the best of the event” (short of Radio Head, naturally.  Which, really, they had no hope of competition.  Radio Head’s encore coincided with a spontaneous show of fireworks unrelated to the music festival.)  Anyway, I became an instant fan once I heard their songs, “2080,” and “Red Cave,” and “Wait for the Summer” off the album All Hour Cymbals.  They themselves describe their music as “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel.”  The best combo?  I dig it.

I must include the following video to illustrate my point of their greatness, although it is not the reason for this posting:

La Blogotheque is worthy itself of an entire post.  It includes a mini-section entitled “Take Away Shows,” where many of your favorite artists have contributed videos of themselves “among the public” performing their music, often with disregard from the surrounding crowd/peoples, particularly in Andrew Bird’s case.

Back to purpose.  Number 1, to share following song off of new album:

And while I am in love with this song and it alone can capture and maintain your attention, I would like to make a comment concerning the video.  A comment besides the necessary reveling in the image of the horse crusading elegantly through the sand and the animalistic, iconic banging of the drum.  A comment concerning this particular part of the video:

Mind you, there is a prerequisite to understanding what follows, and that is having read Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.  Though not a direct connection, this image immediately made me think of (from what I remember) the opening scene of the book: the meeting.  Not to ruin it for you, but  in my opinion this scene was the best part of the book that was left out of the film.  It is as follows:  Tyler Durden on a beach, single-handedly hauling large pieces of driftwood to a spot in the sand, placing them upright in a seemingly random order.  Narrator is perplexed and intrigued: why?  Durden, upon finishing his feat, takes a seat in the center of the re-purposed monoliths.  Narrator continues his observation only to find that Durden is in fact, sitting in the palm of a massive, self-created, Hand-Shadow.  Hand being the operative image.

Now, Fight Club, I’m sure you know, is an extremely influential book/movie in 20th century pop culture, particularly within the field of Cultural Studies, the main reason being its metaphoric ripeness in relation to the psychosomatic state of modern man (male).  I’m sure there have been many references to it in all sorts of creative creations post 1996, but I see the art direction within this particular music video as a direct one (the Hand.. the crowd of devotees….). The lyrics certainly help my case.  The song features two of the leading boxers of the 1930s as opponents, Max Schmeling and The Ambling Alp.

The message of the song, put simply, is STICK UP FOR YOURSELF.  Is that not what the entire message of fight club is?  Stand not for what others (society) conclude is best for you.  Abide not by the restrictions placed upon you by outside parties.  Reside not within the bars created by your own mind’s image, nor your real or supposed addictions.  The analysis goes much deeper, deeper than I am willing to go right now.  Perhaps, if nothing else, if you are in the field of cultural studies, I have given you a quality thesis.

I think, regardless of the comparisons, what I appreciate most about this song is that it supports not only the ruthless spirit that Fight Club encourages, but the active acknowledgment of this lifestyle, by “wearing your wounds with pride,” which, I might ad, Fight Club also promotes.  Do what you do, and do it with pride!

Maybe in the end, its not that things can be compared to the messages within Fight Club, but rather that the messages within Fight Club can be applied to most things.


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(by paula scher at nytimes.com)

follow the link for a lovely essay on the evolution of narcissistic, aggressive, sexual masculinity in great male authors’ prose.

[ stefanie ]

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Since it’s Friday, today will be festo Lite for this post-er.  No manifestos, no reflections on consumerism or objectification.  Just the unique entertainment that is AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS.  Looking through old family photo albums can be so FUN…  or the source of anxiety, especially when your awkward years stretched from 18 months to 18.  Never fear!  These exists a forum where you can post your photos & face your [awkward] face.  Or even more therapeutic, gawk/cringe/laugh (all at the same time!) at everyone else’s!  This is a recent favorite:

“These boots were made for…”

The site is a vast repository of awkward family photos spanning decades with cheeky titles and endless comments from their loyal readers.  Some of those from the 70s and 80s are reminders of an esthetic that in 2010 just seems awkward, but back then was awesome!  (And given the current obsession with 80s “fashion”, dare I say a source of inspiration?) Case in point:

“Fast times”

Other ones are truly just awkward/creepy:

I highly recommend visiting the current Hot Tub Time Machine Totally Awkward Top 5 for some priceless shots and a brief tasting of the huge archives of AFP.

Enjoy!  And if you’ve got an AFP treasure (and we all do), don’t hold out on us– submit it to the site and then shoot us a link!


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If you are over 21 & have had your first home away from home, you’ve spent entirely too much time (but arguably not that much money) in the maze-like monstrosity that is Ikea.  Now that it’s 2010, I invite you to try their Japanese fraternal twin: MUJI.

I had never even heard of MUJI until it came up at work as a place to buy cheap, anonymous (read: customizable) yet design-conscious office supplies.  My Italian mind thought it was spelled Muggi. Dumb.

You can get all sorts of weird random things in a really small space;  in other words, it doesn’t take 1 hour to get in & 1 hour to get out.  Seat cushions, build-your-own-pens (really awesome actually), underwear, wooden city skyline block sets, furniture, and picture frames all manage to coexist very peacefully.

case in point: harmonious coexistance

On their website, shopping is called “Playing” and each product shot, if you hover/sit with it for a while (stop scrolling!) starts to animate itself like that painting in the Witches with the girl feeding the ducks.* Or I suppose for you Harry Potterheads, like the portraits.

Unfortunately a quick scan of the clothing section did not turn up their fabulous bat-sleeve (I admit, I am obsessed with the silhouette) simple cotton shirts, perfect for spring in robin’s-egg heathery blue.

Here is their manifesto (yes, manifesto– in the 21st century, only brands have manifestos, and yes, Virginia, MUJI is in fact a brand),  entitled “The Future of Muji”:

MUJI is not a brand. MUJI does not make products of individuality or fashion, nor does MUJI reflect the popularity of its name in its prices.  MUJI creates products with a view toward global consumption of the future.  This means that we do not create products that lure customers into believing that “this is best” or “I must have this.” We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not with “this is best,” but with “this is enough.”  “Best” becomes “enough.”

Wait, what?!  MUJI is telling us to settle for mediocrity?  Keep reading.

“There are degrees of ‘enough,’ however.  MUJI aims to raise the standard of ‘enough’ to the greatest extent possible.  ‘Best’ contains a faint amount of egoism and disharmony, but in ‘enough’ we sense restraint and compromise.  On the other hand, ‘enough’ might contain a sense of resignation and a slight amount of dissatisfaction.  So by raising the bar of what denotes ‘enough,’ we cast away that resignation and slight dissatisfaction; we create a new dimension of ‘enough’ to attain a clear and heart-felt ‘This is enough.’  That is MUJI’s vision.  To that end, MUJI continually revamps as many as 7,500 items as we deliver new MUJI quality.”

OK, whoever wrote this was clearly in some sweet spot that I have never been.  I want to like manifestos, it’s in my nature, but I’d give this manifesto a gold brown star (b.s.)  The photography on their page is pretty stunning, so the b.s.  could be upgraded to one of those red shiny ones.

So, MUJI… 10 points for small space with huge range of products, 15 points for breezy, adaptable minimalist design,  -15 for brand manifesto that claims MUJI is not a brand, 5 of those redeemed because at least they didn’t claim it was “a lifestyle”

Any of you frequent MUJI?  What do you buy there?


*If you got that reference, big gold star for you!

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